Manna from heaven: Second Harvest is big winner

    Beyond the millions of dollars generated for the local economy by Super Bowl XLVII, archdiocesan nonprofits came away big winners in the “Super Service Challenge” sponsored by the Brees Dream Foundation and Companies With A Mission.
    Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana received $98,000 as part of the Super Service Challenge’s $1 million charity giveaway – the most by any single nonprofit. The awards were announced by Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany Jan. 30 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.
    “We’re stunned and just so grateful,” said Natalie Jayroe, president and CEO of Second Harvest. “For every dollar we receive, we can provide $15.50 worth of groceries. That makes this gift worth more than $1.5 million in groceries that can be leveraged for hungry people.”
    During the service challenge – which started months before Super Bowl XLVII – companies and organizations were encouraged to offer volunteer service to area nonprofits and make a video of their work. More than 2,000 people and 250 teams participated in the Super Service Challenge.
11 winning teams
    Eleven winning teams designated Second Harvest as their nonprofit of choice, and Second Harvest received awards ranging from $25,000 to $2,000 each. The volunteer teams that offered service, along with the award amounts to Second Harvest, were as follows:
    Agnus Dei Homeschool Association, $25,000; Archdiocese of New Orleans Young Adult Ministry and Rotary of Metairie, $20,000 each; Millennium Healthcare Management, $10,000; Raindrops, Shell, and Tulane Swimming and Diving, $5,000 each; Eli Lilly, Harrah’s New Orleans Casino and Hotel, InterContinental New Orleans and Social Security Administration-ODAR New Orleans, $2,000 each.
    Jayroe said many of the volunteer groups that won the service awards have been volunteering with Second Harvest for years.
    “We have volunteers come to Second Harvest more than 15,000 times a year,” Jayroe said. “They are the equivalent of 24 full-time staff members. When we heard about this project, it was just an added benefit to what they already do from the generosity of their hearts. This is beyond our wildest dreams.”
    Four other nonprofits won the top award of $25,000: the National Alliance on Mental Illness, designated by Akrom, Inc.; the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater New Orleans, designated by Cintas; Team Gleason, designated by Junior Achievement; and St. Paul’s Homecoming Center, designated by St. Paul’s Episcopal School.
Other archdiocesan winners
    An additional $88,000 was awarded to seven other organizations with ties to the Archdiocese of New Orleans:
    ➤ The Society of St. Vincent DePaul ($20,000), with service provided by the Academy of the Sacred Heart;
    ➤ The Society of St. Vincent de Paul chapter ($20,000) at Good Shepherd Parish;
    ➤ Café Reconcile ($20,000), served by The Ritz Carlton;
    ➤ Boys Hope Girls Hope of Greater New Orleans ($10,000), served by Stewart Enterprises;
    ➤ St. Michael’s Special School ($6,000), served by Canisius College Campus Ministry, Institute of Real Estate Management and Mardi Gras World;
    ➤ Covenant House ($6,000), served by the Social Security Administration-ODAR New Orleans, The Bead Shop and Vintage Church-Westbank;
    ➤ St. Jude Community Center ($2,000), served by The Ritz Carlton;
    ➤ Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans ($2,000), served by the Tulane University Center for Public Service.
    ➤ The Green Light New Orleans project of the Academy of the Sacred Heart ($2,000), served by the Tulane University Center for Public Service.
    Judging was based on how the charity was served, how the workplace team will serve the charity in the future and how the charity would utilize the prize money if that team was selected as a winner of the service challenge.
    “Brittany and I are thrilled with the success of the Super Service Challenge,” Brees said. “We know the funds being awarded are critical to these organizations, but long term, it’s the relationships and the passion to continue to serve that will be the sustaining legacy of the challenge.”
    For a list of each winning project or to learn more about the Super Service Challenge or the Brees Dream Foundation, visit www.superservicechallenge.com or www.drewbrees.com.

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